Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last days of summer...

As the lazy days of summer have seemingly, quite literally flown by, there are still a few remaining ones before a mandatory calendar transition of the current season to the next.

 Sharing a "Tickleberries" ice cream experience in the heat of the day.

 Watching an air balloon careen down very near a major highway, 
and soon quickly landing onto the side of one exit. 
What a cool sight!

Enjoying the fruits of summer, with a fresh blueberry pie. Yum!
Someone below though requires another lesson on how to use a fork. 
It's not a shovel! haha...

Autumn is obviously on our tails and immediately on the horizon for its entry next week. 

With autumn comes the often dreaded darker and shorter days, geographically changed locations for those still gorgeous nightly sunsets, much cooler mornings where we are able to swing open windows and doors to fill our homes with marvelous fresh air, and the natural instinctive desire to prepare towards the colder months ahead. We all know that winter comes quickly as autumn swings past.

   Acorn nut picking time, as they lay fallen all over the ground. 
Guess which one picked the most nuts, our obvious avid nut picker ?

Tree damage from pesky squirrels and chipmunks are bothersome. Each day we find bits of our oak tree branches on the grass, with obvious visual signs of acorn nut feasting nearby. They are wise these animals, so wise to climb trees, nibble ends of heavy laden nut branches so they careen down, and then they race back down and munch away on the nuts which have fallen and bounced about on the ground. 

Still though, even with the change of seasons ahead, the sun still visits and shines brightly most days. 

~ It is warm enough yet, that flip flops are still the impulsive footwear of choice, so wonderfully easy to slip on our feet. 

 Preparing for autumn leaf pickup with the installation of his new John Deere tractor bag system. Our oldest son here was instrumental in opening up the box and beginning its assembly for his father, such a huge helper he is. Here's hoping for many less hours raking up, and bagging those mounds of fallen autumn leaves soon to come in the near future.

~ There have been a few days this week already though, where everyone scurried to grab a pair of socks from our drawers - those fuzzy warm extremely foreign things which our feet aren't yet wanting to fully embrace or welcome. How many months has it been that we've been living in our flip flops?

~ Warmer sips of colder weather drinks are on the menu. 

This fine extra large latte was a splendid treat while having tea recently with my mom at a lovely tea spot. She had tea, I splurged with a latte for the first time in a long time. Yum!

~ A monsoon type of rainstorm this week provided plenty of hydration for our forest, gardens and plants which have been hardy throughout the continued heat waves of summer. 

 Overgrown and in dire need of taming, with my awesome hedger in hand, an autumn pruning began! I spared no mercy for the seasonal task, and behind me my hubby was able to use the hand shears to catch whatever I missed. We made a great team we two.
The above photo was the "before" shot, the photo below is the "after" shot. It was relatively easier to clip and chop, than to pick up and haul all of it away.
An additional shot below is from another area, such a great trimming all around and here's hoping for wonderful new spring growth soon to come.

~ Alas, now that it's September, it is the perfect timing to steadily work outdoors at pruning back all of the gardens. 

~ I've made a new project for myself in the garden department. However, it's soon to be a race against frost timing, so the task will not be complete until I finish back deck garden areas. Our son carved out the grass to expand all an additional three feet in width all around its perimeters. 

Everything outgrew its initial bedding from two years ago, and this was the plan back then to widen all by this year, to transplant and to redesign the gardens with the larger growth of plants/bushes. I'll be requiring five square yards of triple mix soil, to create a new garden canvas to work within, and an additional bark mulch load to finish the project afterward. 

~ Our wheelbarrow will become our best friend while hauling and moving all these particulars about, and as we are also padding up the front beds with additional bark mulching, I'm looking forward to the workouts.

~ The same tree faller we've hired before will be here this week to chop down a few unstable trees, or half dead trees around our property, before winter weather sets in. He promised to haul everything away and clean up from the day's work.

 Orange dots decorate trees on our property in preparation for our tree faller's visit.

 Our poor hemlock tree that died this year must come down before it lands towards our home. We weren't able to hang up our hammock this year due to this. boohoo...

~ Three wonderful men showed up yesterday with ladders in all sizes. Bravely they climbed each rung of their ladders to clean all of our outdoor windows, a long and very overdue detail which we cannot do ourselves. Imagine climbing up some thirty feet to clean a window? No thank you! 

~ Youngest daughter white washed the birdie houses on the back deck. How different they look! And younger son white washed the wooden deck chairs once more to prepare for winter storage.

~ Our vehicles are all ready for the colder seasons ahead. My van was oiled up and rust protected, now fully prepared for the salt and chemicals poured on Ontario's roadways in the winter months to keep them cleared. 

~ One garage door opener isn't working properly, so we called in the professionals who found a wire had come loose. A few adjustments are necessary for one of them, a rubber runner broke and needs replacement, and a good greasing after the summer heat will get them all in fine tune for the cooler months ahead. 

 Saved these florals when trimming back the garden beds, such a lovely addition to welcoming natural outdoor beauty into our homes.
 Last year's plants came back and hid the new ones planted this year. Wow, and how it ever grew back in its fullness, suffocating all the additional color I had attempted to blend with it for the season!

~ We lined up an inspection of our roof to prepare it for winter, something apparently many do in these eastern parts due to extreme summer and winter temperatures. 

The preference (of course!) is not to have any leakage into the house or garages this winter, and these professionals found three weak areas, which all require attention. I can hardly wait to have a "dry" winter ahead! Yay! 

In the meantime as fall rushes forward, we are still reveling in our summer-like days, even though they are definitely much shorter, and the desire to cocoon up early has hit everyone lately, especially immediately following the dinner hour when the dishes are done and the dogs get their final walk of the day.

 Enjoying the sights and sounds of the water's edge with the water level now quite a bit lower. A deep serenity fills our souls when breathing in the wondrous, fresh sea air.

 Infused fruit water, is without a doubt - simply the best!
A margarita for two at the waterfront.

 Beaching it when able, and dragging out memorable items (from Hawaii), 
to accompany us with our leisure time there. 

 Being a good sport, for however long he's able to last at each game.

Frisbee fun...

 Uncle spending a moment loving his young gymnast niece.

 Grandbaby evidence both inside and outside of our home abounds these days, 
as our wee one resides with us and is a delight to everyone.

As a friend in Australia announced to me recently; "Please send spring around to us, we're due for it and will share with you when its your turn once more next year." 

So, for the next while, we will indeed continue to enjoy every sunset, and happily begin to usher in and celebrate, the coming of Autumn with all its glorious color soon to explode before us.

 Last Days Of Summer

Breathe the joy of summer for one more day
Bask in the shade of accommodating trees
Smell the sweet fragrance of lilies and roses
Watch, as golden nectar is gathered by bees

The blueness of the sky is calm and peaceful
Elongating wisps of chalky white smoke trails
Streak silently across the highest elevations
A glint of sliver leads the heavenly portrayal

Young sidewalk artists add a dazzling flavor
Rainbows and butterflies decorate the concrete
Outlines of elephants and tigers roam carefree
Ex outsmarts circle with a diagonal defeat

Crowns of branches are brushed with tinges of gold
Breezes intensify as leaves cascade to the ground
Dark rain clouds invade, erasing summer fantasies
Cooling joyful summer dreams as the rain pounds

~ by; Theresa Ann Moore

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Happy 60th Wedding Anniversary!

It was on this day, 
60 years ago that my parents said; "I do".


Their wedding took place on a sunny morning in Bristol, Virginia, where my mother and her family resided.

My mother bid her parents and siblings farewell to accompany her husband onward into their new life together, such a long way from home to another country, in the day when there was no such thing as email, texting, or Skype. My father somehow managed to keep his word, and send her home to visit her family frequently during the marriage, with or without their five children if need be.

With an abundance of wedding gifts loaded in my mother's hope chest she was gifted at an early age, and after a very long journey, at last they settled down where my father resided, on the Canadian Westcoast.  

Fast forward 60 years....

With our own family all spread out geographically, quite literally around the world, including Canada, USA, and Australia, it was such a great thing when three siblings realized we would all be together in one place, at one time again two weeks ago now, so we made the unanimous decision to "celebrate" our parents yet again altogether! 

Yes, indeed, we celebrated! 

The problem was keeping things a surprise from our folks, and hoping not to surprise them too much at the same time. (smile)

We have been, and seem to be a family of surprise wishers as we've been able to come together for our parent's 25th wedding anniversary, and then their terrific 50th, and now the 60th, though with the last two, only three of the five of us were able to gather. 

50th Wedding Anniversary
 Our unsuspecting parents thought they were only going to dinner with our family. Little did they know here, they would have no vehicle (we drove), nor overnight clothing (someone was in charge of that), and would be happily reunited with their family for a lovely dinner and dancing evening; including their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all eagerly awaiting their arrival a distance away.
 Surprise! There were 28 altogether this evening, such great memories for all to continue reminiscing over. Two weeks ago, the entire family count is now at 64, including all the many great-grandchildren born into the family in recent months.
How fun to witness the beaming glow and loving hearts, after their wild senses process and begin to adjust from the shock of each surprise. 

60th Wedding Anniversary

Our gathering spot for their 60th wedding anniversary, we decided upon a quite evening with just those present from out of town and our spouses. We chose a quaint and intimate restaurant known for their old world charm that turned out to be an excellent venue for what we were hoping for to celebrate this night. 

With my husband playing chauffeur for my (unsuspecting) parents, all the others quietly awaited their arrival. Once inside the doorway, it took a minute for them to register those assembled in their midst, such a lovely moment.  

The restaurant made it special too, gifting our mother with a little posy of fresh flowers, placing candles in their desserts, and singing "Happy Anniversary to You!". 


In fact, the evening ended up being a wonderful and memorable reunion, with many happy short speeches and expressed emotions spilling forth.

God Bless you Mom and Dad! 

Happy and Blessed 60th Wedding Anniversary

We love you!